Christ Church Chelsea

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Letter sent by the Chairman of the Planning Committee to RBKC on 11th July 2016 about Christ Church, Chelsea – PP/16/04188 as follows:

“The Applicants are mindful of the historic environment in which the church is situated and that the character and appearance of the building needs to be considered in the context of the Royal Hospital Conservation area and surrounding buildings. Their earlier application was for solar panels which, whilst virtually invisible from street level, could be seen from the upper floors of properties overlooking the church.  The church have now submitted this revised proposal to reduce the size of the panels.

The panels would be located on the south-east facing slope of the main pitched roof and would be obscured from view by the south-eastern pitched roof and by the main roof itself.  The panels would have a matt finish.  I made a visit to the church on 5th July and observed that the proposed solar panels would not be visible at all from the street or the houses on Christchurch Street or Caversham Street. A small section of the panels might be visible from a small number of the upper flats in the vicinity, but it does not seem to us that this would be a sufficient intrusion into the visual amenity of the Conservation Area to justify refusing the present application.

We understand that no-one objected during the earlier public consultation, and The Chelsea Society did not object. Historic England also confirmed that they had no objection.  We understand that the Diocesan Advisory Committee has agreed with the proposal and that a Faculty is likely to be granted if Planning Permission is obtained.  We also understand that the Diocesan Architect is satisfied that installation of the panels would not cause damage to the building.  The solar panels would not only reduce the demand on the national electricity grid, but would also benefit the finances of the church.

The Chelsea Society therefore supports the Application. There is some urgency, as the church need to have a decision before 27th August if they are to have time to install the panels and benefit from the higher rate of subsidy.”

The Application was refused, but a revised Application was submitted on 8th February 2017 http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning/searches/details.aspx?address=&streetname=&postcode=&ward=&consarea=&caseyear=&casenumber=&proposal=&decisionyear=&decisionmonth=&appealref=&batch=20&id=PP/17/00708&type=application&tab=tabs-planning-1 which the Society has supported.

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